This article is designed to highlight my favorite cash game building blocks. Cash games are the staple of our optimal blueprint and should be anchoring your bankroll. Cash games are classified as head to head contests, 50/50s and double ups. Good luck in your contests this week and remember to tweet us @dfs_karma with your winning screenshots!
Top Tier: Tom Brady- Do I really need to explain why the GOAT himself is in play? Brady is in the best spot of the week against the lowly Raiders secondary, and has been up to his old ways this season. He's averaging just over 20 fantasy points per game and Oakland ranks 32nd in pass defense DVOA. They are the only secondary in the NFL without an interception yet this season, and the Patriots have a big 30 point implied team total in Vegas.
Mid Tier: Alex Smith- Alex Smith has quieted down a bit since his red hot start to the season, but he has played well all year long. It seems that the Chiefs using their first round pick on QB Pat Maholmes lit the fire under Smith that he needed. The Giants have clearly given up on Coach Ben McAdoo and they have been destroyed the last two weeks. They now rank 29th in pass defense DVOA on the year and I don't see how Smith doesn't light them up in week 11 at a mid tier price point. I'm all over it.
Low Tier: Eli Manning- Some might be surprised that I'm writing up Eli against the Chiefs, but this isn't the same Chiefs defense we thought we knew. The Chiefs have been getting beaten on defense in all facets of the game, and are allowing 260 yards per game through the air. I think that this game will be high scoring given how bad the defenses are, and if you want to spend up elsewhere I'm fine with Eli at his cheap price tag.
Top Tier: Mark Ingram- Mark Ingram just continues to get it done for the Saints. There is some concern given how good rookie Alvin Kamara has played, but even with fumble issues Ingram has been locked into his role for the Saints. This offense is clicking on all cylinders, and tIngram has found the box 7 times in 5 games since Adrian Peterson was traded to Arizona. He has over 20 touches in ever game over that time frame, and is one of my favorite RB options this week.
Mid Tier: Chris Thompson- It's not often that I will write-up running backs in the same game for cash games, given how some of them are so game script dependent. Chris Thompson has been one of my favorite players to watch this season and he is about to get a nice workload increase with Rob Kelley placed on IR. In the games Kelley has missed this season, Thompson has posted some monster fantasy games and given that this game with the Saints should be high scoring and fast-paced, I'm all in on him. The Saints defense ranks just 25th in terms of run defense DVOA despite ranking 4th in the passing department. On the ground and in the middle of the field is the place to attack them, and CT's ability to catch passes just boosts his value even more.
Low Tier: Rex Burkhead- Sexy Rexy! Rex is way too cheap for his growing role, especially on Draftkings where the scoring is full PPR. Rex has seen his snaps increase each week since he returned from his injury and he saw a season-high 13 touches last Sunday night. The Patriots have the highest implied team total on the week at just over 30 points and you're going to want some exposure to them in your cash game roster (s).
Top Tier: Michael Thomas- The Michael Thomas explosion is coming! I was all over him last week and I'm going right back to the well this week. He had a great game last week posting 10 catches for 117 yards, he just didn't find the end zone. He is due for some positive touchdown regression, and has seen just under 40% of the Saints targets over the last 3 weeks. That is INSANE volume for a Wide Receiver. This is going to be a fast paced game and I want all as much exposure as I can get.
Mid Tier: Larry Fitzgerald- This one might come as a surprise but I LOVE the spot for Fitz this week. He has a "A+" matchup against Kareem Jackson and I have reason to believe that Blaine Gabbert will lean on Fitzgerald in his first start of the season. Fitzgerald hasn't faded as the season has went on like normal, and slot receiver Jeremy Kerley posted his best fantasy outputwith Gabbert at the helm in San Francisco last season. I definitely think Fitz will go overlooked, and I have no issues using him in all formats.
Low Tier: Sterling Shepard- I'm not really sure why they refuse to raise Shepard's price but he is a lock and load once again this Sunday. He's seen around a 30% target share since Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall went down with injuries and you just can't pass up that sort of volume at his price. The Chiefs rank 22nd in pass DVOA and have been getting abused as of late. He's a great play once again in week 11.
Top Tier: Rob Gronkowski- Gronk Smash! We all know that Gronk is a play most weeks, but this week the popular strategy will most likely be to pay up at Tight End. The Raiders secondary has underwhelmed this season to say the least, and they feature one of the worst linebacking corps in the NFL. They rank dead last in pass DVOA and Gronk should have his way this Sunday in Mexico City.
Mid Tier: Travis Kelce- This a two-part top tier this week with these two players checking in as the two most expensive options at the position. Travis Kelce is going to be the chalkiest option at the position this week, but for good reason as the Giants have allowed a Tight End to score a touchdown in EVERY game this season. This is the nuts matchups for Tight Ends, don't get cute!
Low Tier: Vernon Davis- Vernon Davis has perennially smashed when Jordan Reed has missed...which has been quite often over the last two years. He's seen 20 targets over the last two weeks in Reed's absence and has eclipsed 70 yards in each of those games. The Saints outside corners Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley have both played exceptional this season and the place to attack the Saints has been in the middle of the field. He hasn't seen a price rise yet, and provides salary relief in a week where most probably won't be saving at this position in their cash game rosters.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)